The man charged with burning down two historic churches in Douglas is expected back in court Friday, January 26 in a hearing to determine if he’s competent to stand trial.

Eric Ridenour is charged in the burning of those two churches last summer.

One church had a gay pastor, the other a female pastor. Prosecutors say Ridenour felt it was against God’s law for women and gay people to be church leaders.

A mental competence report said Ridenour was mentally competent to stand trial but then said he could be judged incompetent for trial if he claimed to have had discussions with God. In a hearing two weeks ago Ridenour told Judge Scott Rash he thought the report was an effort to keep him from expressing his views.

Prosecutors convinced the judge in the case to hold Friday’s hearing to ask the doctor to clarify his appraisal of Ridenour’s mental health.

Ridenour is acting as his own attorney in the case. He does have a professional lawyer serving as his advisor.



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